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Veteran defender Willie Pile retires after five seasons with Argos

05/29/2012 02:17 EDT | Updated 07/29/2012 05:12 EDT
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. - The Toronto Argonauts will be minus one of their defensive leaders this weekend when they open training camp.

Willie Pile, who played linebacker and safety over five seasons with Toronto, announced his retirement Tuesday.

"As I turn the calendar page to the 32nd year of my life, I have also decided to turn a page on my career and retire from professional football," Pile said in a statement. "Although I have been preparing extremely hard for the opportunity to compete to hoist the Grey Cup in the great city of Toronto this season, the circumstances and the timing surrounding my decision have been very challenging.

"I am fully confident that this is the best decision for my family and I at this time. I will now focus on being at home with my family and working with high performance high school, university and professional athletes to help them achieve their goals and dreams. I love this game and I will miss you all."

Pile was an East Division all-star in 2010 and Toronto's top defensive player in 2008 while also being voted a defensive captain by his teammates in 2010 and '11.

Pile registered 441 tackles, 13 forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and 12 interceptions over his CFL career.

Prior to arriving in Toronto, Pile spent four seasons in the NFL, appearing in 32 games with the Kansas City Chiefs and Dallas Cowboys. He lives in Texas with his wife, Keia, and their four-year old son, Jaylen.

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